I have a lot to get done before a 9 am meeting at the Capitol this morning, so this will be really quick.
Today the House will vote to repeal health reform. There. I said it. We might as well just report it and move on. It's a symbolic step since the Senate won't agree and the President would veto it. But the GOP, they would take away insurance from kids to age 26; they would eliminate external appeals; eliminate the medical loss ratio (those of you getting rebates, be forewarned); they would re-institute the Medicare doughnut hole in all its glory for seniors; they would re-institute lifetime and annual limits on benefits -- not to mention, they would make sure those of us with pre-existing conditions can't buy insurance -- EVER! Really? That's what you want to be known for in these tough times?
Here's their answer. People with pre-existing conditions shouldn't have access to health care like healthy people do; instead, they should be put in high risk pools that cost twice as much as regular health insurance, provide lousy benefits, have lifetime limits -- and you have to go 6 months without insurance to be eligible. "While I don't think that someone who is diagnosed with a massive tumor
should the next day be able to have millions and millions and millions
of dollars of health care provided, I do believe there can be a
structure to deal with the issue of pre-existing conditions," Dreier
said. That's a direct quote. Just so you know where you stand with the GOP.
Rick Perry upholds the right of Texans to the worst health care in the United States. I didn't write that; WaPo did! But they're right. All of you in Texas best take note and make your voice heard if you care about healthcare. Governor Perry will block the Medicaid expansion, deprive you of a marketplace where you can buy insurance intelligently, with all the facts, and continue to stiff the poor and needy. Write him, call him, make your views known. Same for you Floridians. Indeed, we all must be vigilant.
In an essay coming out today in the Journal of the American Medical Association, bioethicists say that we have a moral obligation to buy health insurance. If there was a tsunami on the way, would the government be allowed to force you to evacuate, take safety measures? Well, the health care tsunami is on its way, and government needs to do what we can't or won't do on our own.
Will the insurance industry take steps to control waste and fraud? According to the LA Times, not likely. This is an interesting article, I think. How do we reconcile concern that insurers are paying for things they shouldn't be with the competing concern that they are NOT paying for things they SHOULD be? Hmmm.
President Obama has made federal health insurance available to seasonal firefighters. I think this is great.
And that will have to be that for today. I have very big fish to fry. Wish me luck -- and have a great day! Jennifer